Your first pregnancy is often spent researching and planning every aspect of your baby’s arrival: from the nursery to your baby bag and everything in between. From Pinterest boards and baby shower gift registries, the preparation around your baby’s arrival can be planned right down to knowing what size fruit your baby is according to how many weeks pregnant you are.
And rightly so - knowing what pram suits your needs or what capsule will fit your car and provide optimum safety are incredibly important factors to consider.
But one thing that often gets overlooked is researching and planning aspects of your baby’s feeding journey if things don't go to plan. As we know, breastfeeding is ideal if you can and want to - so if you can access any lactation classes, they can be of real benefit to help you prepare the best you can.
Prepare to have patience while you establish breastfeeding and make sure you have plenty of support around you - not just for the baby, but especially for you.
Preparation is key
If you haven’t already, be prepared to know what’s available to you in the form of breast pumps - whether you want to hire or buy, or manual or electric. There are many makes and models to get your hands on and head around - and you don’t necessarily want to be cruising the aisles of your local baby shops with a newborn if you need to pump.
Swot up on the correct way to store breastmilk and get all the accessories you need ready if you plan on pumping and feeding expressed milk. Do your own research on supplements, teas and dietary additions, like lactation cookies to decide if you want to try them and have them ready.
What to do if Plan A doesn’t work out
Like your birthing plan where you might prepare for a number of birth experiences, it’s also an idea to understand what your feeding journey might look like if your Plan A doesn’t work out. Knowing what your choices are if there are complications can sometimes help what might be a stressful situation.
If knowledge is power, arming yourself with information can help you best prepare for the unknown: despite your best intentions, sometimes breastfeeding doesn’t always work out, or is more difficult to establish.
Breast refusal, Dysphoric Milk Ejection (D-Mer), tongue-tie, improper latch - or even simply choice, there are a number of reasons why you may need to supplement with formula or get special help to establish breastfeeding. They are all valid reasons and none-of them mean you have failed!
If you do need to incorporate formula immediately or later on if you need to return to work, it might pay to consider what is available. Some things to think about could include the origin of your product, accessibility and what might matter to you as a customer - where your product comes from, is it Australian owned or what’s in it?
Luckily in Australia we have some of the most stringent criteria and health & safety standards for infant formula - and rightly so. Your baby’s first food should be made to the strictest safety and hygiene standards possible.
Anything you buy from an Australian shelf (virtual or bricks & mortar!) will have to have passed these minimum requirements - but like anything you buy, not all products are created equal.
Choosing your formula
A surprising amount of product is imported from overseas, and though it’s important to remember these products all need to meet minimum FSANZ requirements, country of origin and availability are all important factors when deciding what to choose.
Australian dairy is some of the best there is, and supporting the local economy means we can all do our part to keep jobs and manufacturing here - especially important when it has come to supply and demand post-pandemic.
Additions to your baby’s diet
Make sure you look for any extras you may want to incorporate into your baby’s diet, like prebiotics & probiotics and whether or not it is made using Australian dairy to know you are getting something ethically made and close to home.
Finally, it’s good to know that there is no one-size fits all feeding plan - whether breastfeeding or formula feeding. Breastfeeding will take time to establish and finding the right formula fit can be a case of trial and error.
But as they say, if you fail to plan - you are planning to fail, so though it might not be as gratifying as moodboarding the nursery, it will absolutely help you through the newborn haze to have thought through what you want as a parent out of your feeding journey.
Article supplied by Mumamoo.